Great Leap, Inc.

Buddhist Obon song and dance

Great Leap, Inc. is a nonprofit arts organization that utilizes the disciplines of music, dance, and theater to deepen relations among people of diverse cultures and faiths.  Great Leap engages in collaborations with professional and community artists, fosters leadership by mentoring emerging artists, and builds community through their workshops, residencies, and performances. Great Leap’s spiritual home, rehearsal and creative space is Senshin Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles, where it was established in 1978 by Nobuko Miyamoto.

In 2013, Great Leap received a grant from ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program to support the creation and recording of a new Obon song/dance.  Obon is a major Buddhist festval in celebration of ancestors and a reaffirmation of indebtedness to them.  The new Obon piece will be taught and danced by community members of sixteen Buddhist temples in the 2013 Obon Festival.

In 2015, Great Leap received a grant from ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program to support their Senbazuru project, which will include the creation of an original music and circle dance of peace for children around the world in the tradition of ObonSenbazuru refers to the the folding of a thousand paper cranes in honor of Sadako Sasaki, a child who died from radiation exposure after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.  Great Leap's Senbazuru project will "stretch its wings" culturally, to also sing for today's children from Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, who struggle for a place to live free of violence and with hope for the future.

A 2017 Living Cultures award will continue to build upon the collaboration and dialogue between the Japanese Obon and Fandango Jarocho communities.  West African dance and drum artists have also joined in with these practices creating wider participation and convivencia or intentional togetherness as a core principle.  



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FandangoObon brings together Japanese Obon dances, Son Jarocho from Mexico and the drums, song and dances of West Africa.

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